Disease-Modifying Therapies for Dementia in Movement Disorders: Charbel Moussa, MBBS, PhD

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The associate professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center talked about disease-modifying therapies for movement disorder-related dementia that aim to address the underlying mechanisms of the disease. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"Disease-modifying therapies are drugs that are not just symptomatic, they are drugs that modify the disease. They actually modify the mechanism, they interfere with the pathology, they eliminate the pathology, and they have long-term effects. Symptomatic drugs, which manage the symptoms, do not halt the progression of the disease."

Emerging therapies are in development to delay the onset or progression of certain dementias, offering hope for improved patient outcomes. These advanced treatments are being designed to alleviate symptoms and target the underlying mechanisms of the disease, potentially slowing or halting its progression. As such, healthcare providers may need to stay informed about these current and future therapeutics, to understand their mechanisms, potential benefits, and limitations for patients. Being aware of these disease-modifying approaches is important for providing the best possible care and guidance to patients, ensuring that they are aware of all available options for treatment.

At the 3rd Annual Advanced Therapeutics in Movement and Related Disorders (ATMRD) Congress, held by the PMD Alliance from June 22-25, 2024, Charbel Moussa, MBBS, PhD, associate professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), presented a talk on disease-modifying treatments in dementias. During his presentation, he talked about how healthcare providers can identify presenting symptoms, etiology, diagnostic workup, and treatment options, specifically disease-modifying therapies for memory disorders that are either investigational or have recently come into market.

Moussa, who also serves as the director of the GUMC Translational Neurotherapeutics Program and the Laboratory for Dementia and Parkinsonism, sat down with NeurologyLive® at the Congress to discuss the main differences between symptomatic drugs and disease-modifying therapies for dementia. He also spoke about a drug, initially developed for diabetes and obesity, that may potentially have benefits in patients with Alzheimer disease. Furthermore, Moussa talked about the role of microglia in the context of neurodegenerative diseases and inflammation.

Click here for more coverage of ATMRD 2024.

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